I've been off the grid for a month, for which I totally blame work. But, hey, I have to pay for this hobby somehow!
Finally, I have color on my second unit of Tau Warriors. One less squad that I need to proxy using AT-43 models. That said, the AT-43models serve wonderfully as proxies. Don't have to worry about storage and transport -- just throw them loose in a container and bust on out the door. And they look just fine on the table.
But there's definitely something very satisfying about having the actual Tau models strutting on the tabletop. After all, it was the original and believable look of those models that struck a chord with me enough to convince me to dig into Warhammer 40K. Well, them and Kroot. How pleasantly convenient it was to discover that they actually fought together in the same army... Space Marines? Meh. Crisis Suits? Bleah. Fire Warriors and Kroot. Those are the sci-fi toy soldiers that make me happy.
Anyway, I tried a few new things with this squad, and I'm only partially satisfied with the outcome. I like the color scheme and general look. But I attempted an earth-sky effect on the bolt at the end of the plasma rifle, and it's pretty much a failure.
Here, I show one of the new guys alongside one of the dudes from the first unit of Fire Warriors that I painted, oh, I don't know, sometime around 2007? I also show a primed and oil-washed figure from unit #3, where I used a metallic paint on the bolt, for comparison. For the best effect, for time invested, the metallic is definitely the way to go.
The earth-sky fails for a few reasons, I think. One is color-choice. I needed to get more orange-yellow in the top and less brown and more orange on the bottom. Another thing I needed to do was bow the horizon line, instead of painting it straight. That just makes it look like it's painted in two halves. I need to exaggerate the contour of the round bolt-head. And finally, I think there just might be too much going on, in too small a space, what, with the slot and the horizon-line making two different bisections. It's just too much for the eye to resolve, perhaps. Lessons learned.